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Different Types of Questions in Questionnaire Design

Most of us know the importance of questionnaires in collecting survey data from a large audience, but are uncertain about the placement of different types of questions in questionnaire. There are different types of questionnaires possible that pollsters can send to their audience, and the format of questionnaire depends entirely on what information is to be extracted from respondents.

So, the key to creating best questionnaire questions is, understanding the questionnaire format, and the type of questions that can be asked to respondents using a survey. At Outsource2india, we have great knowledge and expertise in creating elaborate questionnaire design that can help you fetch desired data and conduct data analysis.

Types of Questionnaire Formats

There are two types of questionnaire questions, open-ended and closed-ended. Following description will help you understand the format of questionnaire better, have a look:

1. Open Format Questions

Open format questions or open-ended questions give your audience an opportunity to express their opinions in a free-flowing manner. These questions don't have predetermined set of responses and the respondent is free to answer whatever he/she feels right. By including open format questions in your questionnaire, you can get true, insightful and even unexpected suggestions. Qualitative questions fall under this category.

An ideal questionnaire would include an open-ended question at the end of the questionnaire that seeks feedback and/or suggestions for improvements from respondents.

Example of an Open Format Question

Open Format Questions - Example

2. Closed Format Questions

Multiple choice questions, where respondents are restricted to choose among any of the given multiple choice answers are known as closed format or closed-ended questions. There is no fixed limit as to how many multiple choices should be given; the number can be even or odd.

One of the main advantages of including closed format questions in your questionnaire design is the ease at performing preliminary analysis. These questions are ideal for calculating statistical data and percentages, as the answers set is known. Closed ended questions can also be asked to different groups at different intervals to efficiently track their opinion about a product/service/company over time. Closed-ended questions can be further classified into 7 types.

Example of a Closed Format Question

Closed Format Questions - Example

Classification of Closed Format Questions for Questionnaire Design

There are 7 ways in which pollsters can create polling or survey questions for their respondents to collect accurate statistical data. Following is a list of 7 types of closed-ended questions that can be a part of your questionnaire design:

A. Leading Questions

Questions that force your audience for a particular type of answer are known as leading questions. In a leading question, all the answers would be equally likely. An example of a leading question would be a question with choices such as, fair, good, great, poor, superb, excellent etc. These questions are meant to get an opinion from the audience in limited words.

Example of a Closed-Ended Leading Question

Closed-Ended Leading Questions - Example

B. Importance Questions

In importance questions, the respondents are usually asked to rate the importance of a particular issue, on a rating scale of 1 to 5. These questions can help you understand things that hold significance to your respondents and allow you make business critical decisions.

Example of a Closed-Ended Importance Question

Closed-Ended Importance Questions - Example

C. Likert Questions

Likert questions can help you ascertain how strongly your respondents agree to a particular statement. Such type of questions also help you assess how your customers feel towards a certain issue, product or service.

Example of a Closed-Ended Likert Question

Closed-Ended Likert Questions - Example

D. Dichotomous Questions

These are simple questions that ask respondents to answer in a yes or no. One major drawback with dichotomous questions is that it cannot analyze the answers between yes and no, there is no scope for a middle perspective.

Example of a Closed-Ended Dichotomous Question

Closed-Ended Dichotomous Questions - Example

E. Bipolar Questions

Bipolar questions are the ones having two extreme answers written at the opposite ends of the scale. The respondents are asked to mark their responses between those two.

Example of a Closed-Ended Bipolar Question

Closed-Ended Bipolar Questions - Example

F. Rating Scale Questions

In rating scale questions, the respondents are asked to rate a particular issue on a scale that ranges between poor to good. Rating scale questions usually have an even number of choices, so that respondents are not given the choice of selecting a middle option.

Example of a Closed-Ended Rating Scale Question

Closed-Ended Rating Scale Questions - Example

G. Buying Propensity Questions

Buying propensity questions try to assess the future intentions of customers and determine respondent's buying intention. These questions ask respondents if they want to buy a particular product, what requirements they want to be addressed, and whether they would buy such a product in future.

Example of a Closed-Ended Buying propensity Question

Closed-Ended Buying Propensity Questions - Example

Questions to Be Avoided In a Questionnaire

There is something more important than knowing the questionnaire format and what type of questions to be asked in a questionnaire. It is understanding, what questions need to be avoided in a survey or poll.

Take care to avoid following type of questions when preparing a questionnaire:

1. Embarrassing Questions

Questions that ask respondents details about their personal and private matters are embarrassing questions. Such types of questions are better to be avoided as you risk losing trust of your respondents. Your respondents might also feel uncomfortable to answer such questions and might refuse to answer your questionnaire altogether.

2. Positive/ Negative Connotation Questions

Since most verbs, adjectives and nouns in the English language have either a positive or negative connotations, questions are bound to be taken as either positive or negative. While defining a question, strong negative or positive overtones must be avoided. You will get different data depending on the positive or negative connotation of your question. Ideal questions should have neutral or subtle overtones.

3. Hypothetical Questions

Hypothetical questions are based on speculation and fantasy. An example of a hypothetical question would be "If you were the CEO of an ABC organization what would be the changes that you would bring?" Questions such as these, force respondents to give their ideas on a particular subject, and generally the data collected through such questions are inconsistent and unclear. Hypothetical questions should be avoided in questionnaires.

Outsource Questionnaire Design to O2I

Outsource2india, a pioneer in outsourcing wide-range of solutions and has years of experience in designing effective questionnaires. We have a team of qualified marketing questionnaire design experts who are skilled in designing ideal questionnaires.

Apart from designing questionnaires, we also have expertise in devising questions that can help you get the answers you are looking for. We can help you with any queries related to "How to design a questionnaire" or "types of marketing questionnaire and their utility".

We have the infrastructure and resources to provide you not only design questionnaire, but also analyze results and do reporting. Have a look:

  • Questionnaire Design: Our experts develop questionnaire based on the objective of your research keeping in mind different audience and design channels
  • Data Collection: We collect the questionnaire data using various tools, and store it for further analysis
  • Coding: Our data coding experts and data cleansing analysts organize data for further analysis
  • Data Analysis: Based on the clients' business objectives our expert statistical analysts analyze and provide relevant insights on data
  • Reporting / Report Preparation: After data analysis, we prepare detailed reports so that the analysis is presented in a professional way, and senior management can take decisions easily

Outsource marketing questionnaire design to Outsoure2india and get access to proficient and professional services within a fast turnaround time.

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